ACD Course   


The Master of Ministry forms part of a nested suite of postgraduate programs that also includes the Graduate Certificate in Ministry Studies, the Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Doctor of Ministry.

It is a professional degree that assists Christian leaders to develop their personal, spiritual, pastoral and intellectual capabilities. Participants interact with current thinking in a relevant area of pastoral ministry and apply their theoretical knowledge to develop a ministry project built around current pastoral practice. We aim to provide space for exploration of imaginative possibilities for church today.

This degree course is delivered via distance learning and is only offered to people with ministry experience as four years of part-time study. It requires four years of part-time study, (equivalent to two years full-time).

Entry to the Master of Ministry normally requires:

  • A Bachelor of Ministry degree or equivalent qualification or the ACD Graduate Diploma in Ministry or equivalent qualification; and
  • At   least two years’ relevant ministry experience; and
  • Permission of the Course Coordinator.

However, the Postgraduate Committee may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

A candidate who holds the ACD Graduate Diploma in Ministry degree or equivalent may be granted advanced standing in the Master of Ministry.

A student may apply to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Ministry Studies after the successful completion of 18 units or the Graduate Diploma in Ministry after the successful completion of 36 units.

Students studying a Master of Ministry must indicate by the end of their third year (or after 54 credit points) whether they intend to graduate with a Masters or apply to transfer into the Doctor of Ministry. Requirements for transfer are:

  • A current enrolment in the ACD Master of Ministry course; and
  • A grade average of Distinction in the ACD Master of Ministry study in units totalling at least 18 credit points calculated on the last 18 credit points taken; and
  • At least three years relevant ministry experience; and
  • Approval of the ACD Postgraduate Committee and the Course Coordinator.

Credit may be granted for recognition of prior studies undertaken at another approved Higher Education Institution.

The Master of Ministry consists of 72 credit points of study.

It has four components:

  • Coursework – Join with others as pilgrims on a common journey, to reflect on ministry experience and recent study in ministry practice.
  • Guided reading – Explore selected areas that are relevant to your ministry development or projected research.
  • Community research seminars – a mutual conversation about research so that we might all learn from each other and work together as a research community.
  • Ministry practice project – Extended study in a ministry area of interest.

The components can be described as follows:

Coursework Units   (13.5 credit points)
These prepare students for specialist thinking and skills use in the area of Ministry Practice, engagement with current research in the field, and theological reflection upon their own ministry practice and leadership in the Australian context.

The required coursework units are:

  • Reflecting on Best Practice in Ministry
  • Introduction to Community Research, and
  • Theology for Ministry Practice.


Guided Study Units  (22.5 credit points)
With the approval of the course coordinator, students study and are assessed in selected areas of interest for professional development under the guidance of an appropriate supervisor. Students may read an agreed select bibliography as individual study or as part of a group, or build their study around interviewing experts, attending a conference, or conducting a field trip, complete an approved postgraduate unit, or undertake an agreed project set within the student’s ministry context.

Each year one or two intensives are offered at postgraduate level, which students may choose to attend and complete as a Guided Study unit, and all postgraduate units are available to be taken as Guided Study Units if they are relevant to the student.

Community Research   (9 credit points)
These allow students to develop specialist skills in engaging current peer and scholarly research in, and specialist knowledge of, the field of Ministry Practice. Participants also have the opportunity to present and have their own research critiqued in a collegial environment.

The required coursework units are two Community Research Folio units, taken in parallel to the Ministry Practice Dissertation enrolments.


Ministry Practice Dissertation  (4.5 + 22.5 credit points
Following completion of all coursework and guided studies, students will undertake a unit in Research Methods and then complete a ministry practice project of 22,500 words (equivalent to 22.5 credit points) on a topic associated with a current ministry activity.

Prior to commencement of the dissertation a supervisor will be appointed. Milestones for each enrolment of the Ministry Practice Dissertation will be negotiated between the student and supervisor; a research proposal will be submitted to the Postgraduate Coordinator during enrolment in Ministry Practice Dissertation I, and a Research Review form submitted at the end of each of the first four enrolments for the Ministry Practice Dissertation.

 Unit code and titleCredit points
Year 1
MINS8557 Reflecting on Best Practice in Ministry MINS8201 Guided Study A
MINS8202 Guided Study B
MINS8203 Guided Study C
ExitGraduate Certificate in Ministry Studies18
Year 2
MINS8558 Introduction to Community Research MINS8559 Theology for Ministry Practice
MINS8204 Guided Study D
MINS8205 Guided Study E
ExitGraduate Diploma in Ministry36
Year 3
MINS9032 Research Methods
MINS9201 Community Research Folio 1
MINS9301 Ministry Practice Dissertation I
MINS9302 Ministry Practice Dissertation II
Year 4
MINS9202 Community Research Folio 2
MINS9303 Ministry Practice Dissertation III
MINS9304 Ministry Practice Dissertation IV
MINS9305 Ministry Practice Dissertation V
ExitMaster of Ministry72